Let’s preface with the confession:
I have been self-medicating with marijuana for a long time. In the short term, it reduces my anxiety, and helps me focus. Up until now, I felt educated enough to self-medicate. However, I am aware there is MUCH more to learn and consider.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been having suicidal thoughts, and eventually started hearing voices. After a few days of the auditory delusions, I broke down and went to Emergency with desperate hopes they’d have some sort of help. I went to a hospital further than the one closest to my home, because I knew at the closer one I could end up having to see my previous psychiatrist who, long story short, I did not mesh well with (mainly because she’s robotic and extremely triggering for me.) I reluctantly packed myself a bag, preparing to be kept a few days.
My sister took me to the hospital, and after some technical issues and a little waiting, I got to see a crisis worker. The crisis worker assessed my situation and basically ASKED ME if I would like to be kept for assessment. — (Insert sarcasm shades) Like, no, I just dropped in to let you know I’m hearing things and wanting to harm myself, no biggie.
So, I was taken to a freezing cold room with a bed and a chair. My sister was allowed to stay with me. At this point I was just shutting down from having to repeat my issues to the triage nurses and workers, so I fell asleep while waiting for the psychiatrist. A few hours later, I wake up to a psychiatrist at the end of my bed, ready to ask me ALL the questions. I went over it again with him, and as soon as I mentioned that I have been self-medicating with marijuana, it was as though he stopped listening to me. He made no mention, even, of how dangerous it was for me to be stopping and starting my medication, just that marijuana must be the cause of all my problems.
At this point, the psychiatrist realizes on my record that I have seen (robotic psychiatrist that I am very triggered by), and asks “Oh, (robotic psychiatrist) actually works here at the hospital, would you like to see them?”
OH JOY. This is why I avoided the hospital near my home. But, crisis averted; I assertively told him I would not like to see that psychiatrist.
So then he offered to refer me to their day program. I went into Emergency with suicidal thoughts and auditory hallucinations, and I was discharged a few hours later considerably invalidated, with the reassurance of, “the day program co-ordinator will follow up with you probably in a couple weeks.” Oh, and a script for a low dose of seroquel as needed for sleep. — That’s the help I got. So I came home and self-medicated until I felt numb.
Since then, I have done some (more) research on marijuana and its usefulness versus adverse side effects and determined, it was time to consult a professional, one who wouldn’t simply dismiss me as a pothead.
A day or two later, a voicemail from my new family doctor informs me that my doctor would like to see me regarding my recent ER visit. I thought, hm, she’s been rather non-judgmental, and maybe she’ll have some more to offer than the day program did.
Today, I saw both saw my doctor, and heard from the coordinator of the day program.
The coordinator set me up for their three week intensive outpatient day program. I had to be selective about my start date though, in order to avoid (robotic psychiatrist who I am greatly triggered by,) so I’ll start the third week into September. It will be M-F, 9-2 with occasional check-ins with a psychiatrist.
When I saw my doctor, I explained everything that has been happening. I left feeling heard, understood, validated, and .like I had some professional help in my corner. I told her I no longer qualified to be managing marijuana as a medication for myself, so I was referred to a specialist in medical marijuana who will help me, be it with finding and understanding what I need to be using, or understanding how to quit safely if it’s not a good idea for me. I explained that I was weary about the day program because of (robot psychiatrist)’s involvement, so I was referred to another psychiatrist in case that doesn’t pan out. My doctor advised I start taking the seroquel daily, and increased my clonazepam dose to deal with the excessive anxiety until I can get started with the day program and other supports. My doctor also told me I could visit their office at any time to see them, even if there’s no medical advice to offer, but just to vent.
If anyone has any insight on the medical marijuana issue, or anything to say really, feel free to comment.
So now, I wait.
Amongst this, I am reconsidering my enrollment in school for this semester, which is naturally, for me, associated with negative thinking patterns and self-disgust. However, I need to consider the fact that I may not be as successful in school with so much going on right now. Luckily, I have (a little) time to figure out what I want to do in that aspect.
The next month or two are definitely going to be interesting.